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Jessica Chastain

IT Chapter Two Brings on the Jumps

IT cover

This Friday from director Andy Muschietti, New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. is the closing saga of kids and clowns with IT Chapter Two.

It has been twenty-seven years since ‘The Losers’ took out the thing they call ‘it’. Still in town is Mike Hanlon (Isaiah Mustafa) and he sees a familiar pattern happening in town. People are missing and he sees the all too familiar red balloon.

His only recourse is to call the gang one by one starting with Bill (James McAvoy) who is a writer, Richie (Bill Hader) who has become a stand-up comedian, Ben (Jay Ryan) who is a real estate mogul, Eddie (James Ransone) who is assessment analyst, Beverly (Jessica Chastain) who is repeating her childhood and Stanley (Andy Bean).

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With hardly a memory of the incident years ago, they all come because of a promise made. Meeting up they begin to remember the good times hanging out together and the not so good times because of Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard).

When they learn that one of them won’t be joining them, it becomes all to real. Mike has a plan and has spent all his time trying to find a way to destroy It. Their first response is to run but as they remember more and reconnect their friendships, it becomes clear that they can’t escape.

Each of them journey’s back to what happened that summer and what is the one memory they need to defeat Pennywise. Once they all come to terms with that, there is only one thing left to do – head for the gutters and a showdown with the thing that has haunted their lives.

Pennywise has other plans!

McAvoy as Bill knows that he must go to Derry no matter how much his brain says ‘run!’. Seeing the friends of his youth is wonderful, until it isn’t. He still grieves the death of his brother Georgie and once Mike explains things, Bill knows he must see it through. McAvoy stands out in everything he does but here, as part of an ensemble cast, he melds in beautifully into the second part of the story.

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Chastain as Beverly comes to terms with her childhood because she is forced too, especially with the life she has set up for herself since the last time she met Pennywise. Chastain is solid with her “all-guy” club as a kid but even more so as an adult. Ransone as Eddie is a man who is almost frozen by fear in all things, including his marriage. As each discussion with the group happens, he becomes the voice of ‘lets get OUT of here!’.

Ryan as Ben is the kid with his own secrets and not all of them have to do with Pennywise. He is a totally different adult and only wants to get away for a second until he also realizes that Bill is right, they’d only be back at 70!

Two outstanding performances here are Hader as Richie because his character, even though holding his own secret, was the comedy of the entire film. Yes, this is a scary movie and Hader’s character makes sure that there are moments to break the tension. Of course Skarsgard as Pennywise is just to damn creepy for words. He is frightening, horrific and the very reason some people absolutely don’t like clowns! Tim Curry may be my youth Pennywise but Skarsgard has given it a different face in a different way that works.

Other cast includes Jaeden Martel as young Ben, Wyatt Oleff as young Stan, Finn Wolfhard as young Richie, Sophia Lillis as young Beverly, Chosen Jacobs as young Mike and Jeremy Taylor as young Ben.

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IT Chapter Two is a long movie because there is so much more here than the story of a scary clown. There are answers to questions I didn’t even know I had! The story is intense at times and sad in other frames. In between that is intensity, jumps, yells, frights, a few disgusting characters that I hope to never see again and an audience that joined in every single second of it.

I have to give it two jumps up because I usually don’t yell or jump but I’ll give the special effects their props because I caught myself. What I loved about the ‘horror’ of this horror film is that there isn’t gore for the sake of gore but part of the story and, in a weird way, placed appropriately. In simpler terms it means I was so all in that the one scene where there was a lot of blood made sense to me (I know, I know…weird right?).

From the moment I heard they were remaking IT I wasn’t happy because I’m a fan of originals and believe their day in the sun isn’t over. This retelling puts people in theatre seats to see it on the big screen and it works. Especially since we all love to be scared and if it can be done well then kudos.

The pair of the young characters to their adult counter parts will always remain high on my list. It is very easy to see who is who and that’s because of careful and meticulous casting. I enjoyed the kid version of course because I can relate to that time period when all fun was with friends on bikes riding through town from dawn to dusk in the summertime.

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In the matter of Pennywise, well, we all have one don’t we. That’s what I always took from the crazy clown in that he forced the gang to face what made them afraid and in their stories, those fears are relatable for some of us.

There are a few things that I wasn’t sure were necessary (including the time of two hours and 49 minutes) and one door chain goose egg but I’ll save those for a face to face conversation. I truly want everyone to enjoy every scare, jump, sadness and humor that IT Chapter Two has to offer.

So grab a group of friends and spend some time getting closure as well because Pennywise and The Losers Club are going to provide it.

In the end – you’ll float again!

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THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE is Dramatic on Bluray

zookeepers cover

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray and DVD on July 4th and currently on Digital HD from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and director Niki Caro is a story hope from THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE.

The Warsaw Zoo is owned by Antonia (Jessica Chastain) and Jan Zabinski (Johan Heldenbergh), a couple who have dedicated their lives to their love of animals. Along with their son Ryszard (Timothy Radford), their days are spent tending to the zoo.

Then comes the German invasion and bombs are dropped all over Warsaw, including the zoo. Sending animals everywhere, the Zabinski’s try to find and return them home. Lutz Heck (Daniel Bruhl) a zoologist, comes to Antonia and offers to take their prize animals to the zoo in Germany and return them when the war is over.

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Knowing he is right, Antonia tells her husband Jan it is the right thing to do for the animals. What they don’t expect is the return of Lutz wearing the uniform of a German officer who immediately shoots animals left over. Immediately the Jewish population is rounded up and family friends are afraid. Antonia and Jan agree to take in Magda (Efrat Dor) knowing it could cost them everything.

Jan learns that there are ways to help other Jews and tells Antonia they must try. Coming up with a plan, they go to Lutz wanting to turn the zoo into a pig farm that will feed the German soldiers. Agreeing, Lutz also says he wants to continue his cross-breeding work which means unexpected visits to the zoo.

What Lutz doesn’t know is the real truth behind the pig farm. Jan and Antonia use food scraps from the ghetto where the Jews have been sent as a way to do their part for the resistance. They use the cellar of the zoo to become a way station for those they can save.

Antonia knows that she must keep Lutz’s focus on her if Jan and zoo employee Jerzyk (Michael McElhatton) are to help more and more before they are discovered.

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Chastain as Antonia is a woman who loves her family, the animals and their zoo. Nothing gets in the way of helping the creatures she is charges with caring for. When the opportunity comes to help the people of war with her zoo, she may be afraid but knows it’s the right thing. Chastain is such a strong actress and this role fits her to perfection.

Bruhl as Lutz has the duality of a man who is dedicated to his zoology and serving in the German military. Finding solace at the zoo working with Antonia, there comes a moment when it all begins to unravel and his reaction is frightening. Bruhl has taken on so many different roles and in THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE, it is once again good versus evil within the character.

Heldenbergh as Jan immediately begins to find ways to help his Jewish neighbors. Getting deeper and deeper, the danger is right in front of him yet he continues. Seeing the horrors is sometimes more than he can stand which sends him even further into the resistance – such a strong performance.

Other cast include Iddo Goldberg as Maurycy Fraenkel, Martha Issova as Regina Kenigswein, Daniel Ratimorsky as Samuel Kenigswein, Arnost Goldflam as Dr. Janusz Korczak, Marian Mitas as Stefan, Waldemar Kobus as Dr. Ziegler, Slavko Sobin as Mr. Keller, Alena Mihulova as Marysia Aszer and Shira Haas as Urszula.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has just added an amazing film to their library and making it available for us all to experience and re-experience in our own home theatres. There are films of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.uphe.com.

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THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE is a story of humanity, love, resistance and doing what is right at all costs. The film is based on a book by Diane Ackerman  inspired by the unpublished diary of Antonia and Jan Zabinski. Published in 2007, it didn’t take long for The Zookeeper’s Wife to become number 13 on the New York Times best seller list.

Coming to film, THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE used no CGI but real animals including the lion baby cubs. Also, although the zoo was in Warsaw, the story was filmed in Prague. Both of these add elements to the film that are rich and stunning to a story that is so heartfelt and intense.

The Bluray/ DVD and Digital HD includes the Special Features of Deleted Scenes, The Making of THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE as filmmakers, cast, and crew discuss the challenges they encountered in making the film, including recreating the Warsaw Zoo; working with the animals; and doing justice to such an important story, The Zabinski Family – a closer look at the selfless family at the center of THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE including interviews with Teresa Sabinski and Ryszard Sabinski, the children of Antonia and Jan.

In the end – they gave all they had to save all they could!

THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE Comes to Bluray and a Chance to Win!

 

zoo bluray

 

Coming to Bluray this June from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is Jessica Chastain and Daniel Bruhl in a riveting and powerful true story THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE.

In 1939 Poland, working wife and mother Antonina Żabińska (portrayed by Ms. Chastain) became a hero to hundreds. Antonina and her husband Jan (Mr. Heldenbergh) care for animals at the Warsaw Zoo and have raised a family in an idyllic existence. Their world is overturned when the country is invaded by the Germans and they are forced to report to the Reich’s newly appointed zoologist (Mr. Brühl).  To fight back on their own terms, the Żabińskis risk everything by covertly working with the Resistance and using the Zoo’s hidden passages to safeguard human life.

Based on the true story told in The New York Times best seller by Diane Ackerman, the critically acclaimed and heart-pounding WWII drama The Zookeeper’s Wife debuts on Digital HD on June 20, 2017 and on Blu-ray™, DVD and On Demand on July 4, 2017 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Directed by Niki Caro (North Country) from a screenplay adaptation by Angela Workman (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan), the film stars two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain (The Help), Johan Heldenbergh (The Broken Circle Breakdown), Michael McElhatton (Game of Thrones), and Golden Globe Award nominee Daniel Brühl (Rush).

Focus Features’ The Zookeeper’s Wife on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD comes packed with exclusive bonus content including deleted scenes as well as a special behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film and captivating interviews with the real-life Żabiński family.

We have an amazing opportunity for five of our readers to win a copy of THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE! Please email hellomoviemaven@aol.com with ‘animal lover’ in the subject line along with your name and address. We will be pulling winners and notifying them through email. We are so excited to be offering this amazing film so get your entries in now!

 

 

MISS SLOANE Never Lets Up the Intensity on Bluray & DVD

Miss Sloane

 

Jeri Jacquin

This week on Bluray and DVD from director John Madden and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment comes a film that tests the political limits and MISS SLOANE.

Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) is a lobbyist that people want to hire when it comes to shaking up Washington, D.C. Working for George Dupont (Sam Waterston); she is chastised by the boss when refusing to work with politician who wants no changes in the gun laws.

In Washington, something like that doesn’t just slide when Elizabeth is approached by Rodolfo Schmidt (Mark Strong) who wants her savvy about who can help change the gun laws. Offering her an undisclosed amount to leave her current job, Elizabeth packs up her team accept for Jane Molloy (Alison Pill), a young woman who doesn’t believe she needs to follow Elizabeth’s examples or way of doing things.

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Working with Schmidt happens quickly as Esme Manucharian (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) quickly becomes Elizabeth’s new right-hand-girl. But something more is happening here when Congressman Ron M. Sperling (John Lithgow) convenes a hearing to force her to answer questions about her work, personal life and private matters. Trying to take her down are behind-closed-door dealings that could ruin her life.

Throwing accusations she will always stand her ground!

Chastain as Sloane is amazing in this role as a strong, albeit moments of tension, mover and shaker in Washington, D.C. I loved her ability to deliver these intense lines and never batting an eye at her work. It becomes clear relatively early that this is a woman who knows what she’s in for and doesn’t back down. She is unpredictable and suspenseful at the same time which makes MISS SLOANE superb and it is clear why Chastain was nominated for a Golden Globe!

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Waterston as Dupont isn’t thrilled when his go-to girl takes her show on the road. But when one of her team stays behind it is like a Christmas gift in knowing how to deal with Elizabeth and her tactics. Waterston is still a tough actor that makes his presence known on the screen.

Strong as Schmidt thinks he knows who he has hired but seeing her in action causes him pause, and maybe even a bit of fear. I adore Strong in everything he does so getting accolades from me is fairly easy but that doesn’t mean his role isn’t awesome in the storyline.

Mbatha-Raw as Esme is a woman who understand more about what is at stake than her bosses may know. She is a go-getter yet her reasons are clear and she isn’t about to change. I thought of her character as a kinder, gentler Elizabeth and even when her life is exposed, she knows it’s part of the game. This young actress has truly moves into films that stand out and I enjoy her performances.

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Lithgow as Sperling is a politician who has been in office so long that doing his job seems easy – only seems. It is a hard look at a Congressman who believes he has what it takes make a bigger name for himself; to bad he wasn’t satisfied with that. It must be said, Lithgow can still surprise me!

Serious kudos to Pill as Jane and I’m leaving it at that, you will thank me later!

Other cast include: Michael Stuhlbarg as Pat Connors, Jake Lacy as Forde, Douglas Smith as Alex, Ennis Esmer as Brian, Meghann Fahy as Clara, Alexandra Castillo as Pru, Kyle Mac as More and Jack Murray as Buzzcut.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment brings award-winning global product and new entertainment to DVD, Bluray, and Digital HD. There amazing collection offers fans an opportunity to expand their own home libraries with the best films. To discover what other titles they have please visit www.fox.com.

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TUBS OF POPCORN: I give MISS SLOANE four tubs of popcorn out of five. Yes there is a seriously intense film but it’s also a bit of a lesson on lobbying in Washington. The character of Elizabeth Sloane is considered ruthless and brilliant but there is something else here. Being a woman doing this job it seemed others saw her as expendable but what of her male counterparts?

I have left out finer points of the film because it is in those finer points that the story is fast paced. The devil is in the details and MISS SLOANE absolutely brings that little saying to the forefront of the film.

The Bluray and DVD Special Features include Lobbying: Winning By Any Means and with that being the message over and over, take a moment to watch this special feature!

In the end – make sure you surprise them!

 

THE HUNTSMAN: Winter’s War on Epic Bluray & Extended Edition

the huntsman

 

Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray this week from director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the next chapter in the story that involves THE HUNTSMAN: Winter’s War.

Two sisters, Ravenna (Charlize Theron) and Freya (Emily Blunt) rise as royalty in a kingdom created by Ravenna. When Freya falls in love and becomes pregnant, sister isn’t happy about it. Creating a horror, Freya finds her powers and they are icy cold. Leaving Ravenna behind, Queen Freya is re-born.

Now, to create her own army, Queen Freya begins abducting children including Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara (Jessica Chastain) to train them to become Huntsman. In this kingdom there is one unforgiveable rule – never to love!

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When Eric and Sara’s affections become known by the Queen, she makes sure that they will never be together. Eric manages to escape and that is how he came into service of Snow White.

When William (Sam Claflin) comes to Eric in the woods, he asks that the mirror used by the now dead Ravenna be taken to a safe place and far away from Snow White. Agreeing to help, Eric also becomes stuck with the very small Nion (Nick Frost) and Gryff (Rob Brydon).

But nothing is as it seems and Eric is reunited with Sara who has serious unresolved issues with Eric. That has to be put aside if the group is going to find the mirror and keep it from Queen Freya who is now also looking for it.

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With the help of the equally small Mrs. Bromwyn (Sheridan Smith) and Doreena (Alexandra Roach), the group fights to do what’s right. When the clash between sisters begins, they must all hang on for the fallout.

Sibling rivalry will have no bounds!

Blunt as Queen Freya is absolutely stunning and I say that because I am so partial to her. I absolutely love everything that she does and I am definitely loving her frosty look. She is so elegant that even when she gets tough she looks good doing it.

Hemsworth as Eric gets his story told and a ginger love interest to boot! Wielding his ax in service of trying to keep the mirror from anyone who would use it for evil, its going to be a big fight. He is big, he is bad and he gets the job done – I mean what would you expect from a Huntsman who is a part time hammer thrower in another life?

Chastain as Sara is the badass arrow shooter in leather who ‘never misses’ according to Eric. Wearing leather and touting a bow and arrow there isn’t really anyone that’s going to question what she’s up to. That being said not everything is at it seems.

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Frost as Nion is cute and makes me laugh, his buddy Brydon as Gryff is equally as funny – even when they are pretending to be hostile. Smith as Mrs. Bromwyn is as bad as she wants to be proving that dynamite does come in small packages. Roach as Doreena is so sweet that it’s obvious she’d have a soft spot for Nion.

Theron as Ravenna is obviously awesome! She can just stand there and say nothing and the evil rolls off of her into the audience. Yep, she makes one heck of an evil Queen in her own right and no one or nothing is going to stop her from taking what she wants – not even an Ice Queen of a sister!

Other cast include Sope Dirisu as Tull, Sam Hazeldine as Leifr, Sophie Cookson as Pippa, Conrad Khan as Young Eric, Niamh Walkter as Young Sara and Nana Agyeman-Bediako as Young Tull.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment leads in entertainment with a premier motion picture company, significant television productions & entertainment, world-renowned theme parks and so much more. For more of what they have to offer fans please visit https://www.uphe.com.

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THE HUNTSMAN: Winter’s War is narrated by Liam Neeson which means  I’m already locked into the story because he is, after all, Liam Neeson. This is a grown up fairy tale and anyone who is a fan of SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN is going to be on board with this film.

It’s a story between the two sisters but so very much more as The Huntsman’s story is finally revealed. The special effects are a big part of the film and when dealing with tons of snow and ice there are pretty dang cool.

The Bluray includes the Extended and Theatrical Version with Deleted Scenes with Commentary, Gag Reel, Dressed to Kill, Love Conquerors All – Behind the Scenes with the Cast, and Director’s Commentary with Cedric Nicolas-Troyan. There are also Bluray exclusives of Two Queens and Two Warriors, Meet the Dwarfs, and Magic All Around – A Look at the Visual Effects.

The Bluray, DVD and Digital HD also includes a Free Movie Poster and more.

In the end – it is the story before Snow White!

THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER’S WAR Fights onto Bluray

CHARLIZE THERON, CHRIS HEMSWORTH, EMILY BLUNT AND JESSICA CHASTAIN STAR IN A STUNNING ALL-NEW EXTENDED ACTION-ADVENTURE FANTASY

 

the huntsman


AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL HD AUGUST 2, 2016

4K ULTRA HDTM, BLU-RAY, DVD AND ON DEMAND ON AUGUST 23, 2016

 

If it’s the Snow White tale you’re looking for, discover the story that came before in The Huntsman: Winter’s War, coming to Digital HD on August 2, 2016 and 4K Ultra HDTM, Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand on August 23, 2016, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The Huntsman: Winter’s War on Blu-ray™ and DVD includes an all-new extended edition of the epic action-adventure, plus exclusive bonus features that reveal the movie’s behind-the-scenes secrets.

The Huntsman: Winter’s War stars Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury RoadMonster) as the evil Queen Ravenna, who betrays her good sister Freya (Emily Blunt: SicarioEdge of Tomorrow) with an unforgivable act, freezing Freya’s heart to love and unleashing in her an icy power she never knew she possessed. Retreating to a kingdom far to the north, Freya raises an army of Huntsmen as her protectors, with the only rule that no two of them should ever fall in love. As a war for domination escalates between the two queens, the hero standing between good and evil is Freya’s most elite Huntsman, Eric (Chris Hemsworth: ThorStar Trek Into Darkness). Alongside fellow warrior Sara (Jessica Chastain: The MartianThe Help) — the only woman who has ever captured his heart — Eric must help Freya vanquish her sister or Ravenna’s wickedness will rule for eternity.

 

The film will also be available on 4K Ultra HD™ in a combo pack which includes 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray™ and Digital HD with UltraViolet. The 4K Ultra HDTM will include all bonus features on the Blu-ray disc.

  • 4K Ultra HD™ is the ultimate movie watching experience. 4K Ultra HDTM features the combination of 4K resolution for four times sharper picture than HD, the color brilliance of High Dynamic Range (HDR) with immersive audio delivering a multidimensional sound experience.
  • Blu-ray™ features high definition picture, theater quality surround sound and exclusive extras.
  • DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet™ lets you watch movies anywhere, on any device. Users can instantly stream or download movies to watch on iPad®, iPhone®, Android™, smart TVs, connected Blu-ray™ players, game consoles and more.

 

BLU-RAYTM DISC EXCLUSIVES

  • Two Queens and Two Warriors – The true heart of The Huntsman: Winter’s War is found in its three powerful women, Ravenna, Freya, and Eric’s lost wife, Sara. Learn how the strength and complexity of the film’s female roles drew potent new star power in Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain, as well as convincing Charlize Theron to reprise her role as Ravenna.
  • Meet the Dwarfs – Nick Frost’s Nion and Rob Brydon’s Gryff brought a sense of levity and fun to the adventure — especially once they met their female counterparts. Explore the importance of all four dwarf characters in the film and on set, where the actors who portrayed them earn a reputation for keeping the fun rolling, even when the cameras stopped.
  • Magic All Around – Rooted in history, but inhabited by magic, the world of The Huntsman: Winter’s War is a true visual spectacle. Follow along and see how the magic made it to the screen. From Freya’s icy freeze to the gold-laden goblins of the forest, explore the visual effects at work with an exclusive peek behind the curtain.

 

 

BLU-RAYTM AND DVD BONUS FEATURES

  • Deleted Scenes with Commentary
  • Gag Reel
  • Dressed To Kill – Academy Award®-winning costumer Colleen Atwood returns to help reignite the splendor she brought to Snow White and The Huntsman. A visual feast, her costumes often border on the supernatural in their beauty while helping bring the characters to life.
  • Love Conquers All  From the infectious enthusiasm of director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan to the sisterly bond shared by Emily Blunt and Charlize Theron, the set of The Huntsman: Winter’s War was filled with laughter and life. Actors and artists came together to help create a fairy tale about the pure power of love — and had a blast along the way.
  • Feature Commentary by director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan

THE MARTIAN is Brilliant with an Extended Edition on Bluray

the martian

 

Jeri Jacquin & Jenise Jacquin

This week with an all new extended edition is a 7-time Academy Award nominated film from director Ridley Scott and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment about a man who becomes THE MARTIAN.

Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is with his crew including Lewis (Jessica Chastain), Martinez (Michael Pena), Johanssen (Kate Mara) and Beck (Sebastian Stan) on Mars conducting research. All is going well, that is until a storm comes in stronger than anyone had anticipated.

In one moment the team’s lives are in danger as the storm is tilting their ship. Getting everyone on board for an emergency lift off, the wind whips up debris throwing Watney to the wind. Believing he is dead the crew has no choice but to lift off to safety.

When the storm passes, it becomes clear that Watney survived! Getting back to the base station, he quickly goes into survival mode. He begins to assess his supplies and what he can use to reach NASA.

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Stunned, mission control on earth with Ted Sanders (Jeff Daniels), Annie Montrose (Kristen Wiig), Mitch Henderson (Sean Bean) and Vincent Kapoor (Chiwetel Ejiofor) try to come up with a rescue plan. It is out of nowhere that Rich Purnell (Donald Glover) gives them an option that they hadn’t considered.

Now it is a race between the rescue team and Watney’s ability to stay alive!

Damon as Watney is absolutely amazing. We certainly had concerns with his recent astronaut experience with Interstellar but we shouldn’t have been. He takes this role as a man left to his own devices on the red planet and just thrills from one problem solved to the next. Damon’s ability to use comedy in the middle of some scary stuff doesn’t diminish the fear, just gives us moments of nervous laughter as a release. Yes, we are Damon fans.

Chastain as Lewis and Mara as Johanssen are strong female characters who don’t take orders from the guys very well. Stan as Beck absolutely wants to break the rules to bring his friend home and there is a little love connection with Johanssen.

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Pena as Martinez is an actor who consistently brings it to the screen. There isn’t a role he has done that we don’t like and THE MARTIAN once again proves he is a talent that has so much more to offer.

Daniels as Sanders gets a chance to wear his bad guy-character suit. Of course some might say he’s just doing his job as the head of NASA, but there are moments we questioned whether he wants Watney to come home!

Glover as Purnell is a whiz kid who has to convince others he knows what he’s doing. This is a guy with a big brain and a lot of coffee intake! Wiig as Montrose is disaster control and it’s interesting to watch this usual comedic actress stand there with a straight face, kind of scary really.

Ejiofor as Kapoor turns in a solid performance with a role soaked to the gills in science, Math, quantum physics and anything else one would have to know where Mars and a rescue are concerned.

Bean as Henderson is as bad ass as he wants to be. From the moment his character comes into the storyline it’s easy to see Henderson isn’t about to take any b.s. from anyone. He is combative, sarcastic, direct, snarky and has a few tricks up his sleeves and every bit of Bean’s portrayal had us cheering for him.

Other cast include: Aksel Hennie as Alex Vogel, Nick Mohammed as Tim Grimes, Mackenzie Davis as Mindy Park, Zhu Tao as Chen Shu, Eddie Ko as Guo Ming and Sebastian Stan as Chris Beck.

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Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is amazing to once again bring just what fans want for their home library. Continually bringing new entertainment content for everyone’s media library, their format includes DVD, Bluray, and Digital HD. To discover more of what they have to offer please visit www.foxconnect.com.

TUBS OF POPCORN: We give THE MARTIAN: Extended Edition five tubs of popcorn out of five. Matt Damon makes the entire film so fantastic to watch with his portrayal of Watney – or as we called him the Martian McGyver. The film is visually stunning with storyline and characters just keep it flowing in beautiful Bluray on a nice big home screen.

This is a film for everybody because it does have so much to offer. Damon deserves every accolade for this performance. Want to see what an actor can really do? Put him on Mars with some potatoes and prepared to be amazed.

Ridley Scott is a director that deserves so much respect, not only does THE MARTIAN prove it to us but his track record says so as well. Maybe a few of these film titles will ring a bell with ALIEN(S), LEGEND, THELMA & LOUISE, G.I. JANE, GLADIATOR, AMERICAN GANGSTER, PROMETHEUS, and now THE MARTIAN, so mad props!

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The Bluray comes in a 2-disc set along with Digital HD with ten extra minutes of unseen footage. New Special Features with this set include Audio Commentary by director Ridley Scott, Writer and Executive Producer Drew Goddard and the author of The Martian Andy Weir, Deleted Scenes, The Long Way Home: Making The Martian, Dare Mighty Things: NASA’s Journey to Mars and Journey to Mars 101 Q&A.

This Bluray is truly brilliant with both the theatrical version of the film as well as the extended cut. If you waited to get your own copy of THE MARTIAN, wait no more! This is the edition you want for your home entertainment library.

In the end – help is only 140 million miles away!

 

THE HUNTSMAN: Winter’s War

poster

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan is the next chapter in the story that involves THE HUNTSMAN: Winter’s War.

Two sisters, Ravenna (Charlize Theron) and Freya (Emily Blunt) rise as royalty in a kingdom created by Ravenna. When Freya falls in love and becomes pregnant, sister isn’t happy about it. Creating a horror, Freya finds her powers and they are icy cold. Leaving Ravenna behind, Queen Freya is re-born.

Now, to create her own army, Queen Freya begins abducting children including Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara (Jessica Chastain) to train them to become Huntsman. In this kingdom there is one unforgiveable rule – never to love!

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When Eric and Sara’s affections become known by the Queen, she makes sure that they will never be together. Eric manages to escape and that is how he came into service of Snow White.

When William (Sam Claflin) comes to Eric in the woods, he asks that the mirror used by the now dead Ravenna be taken to a safe place and far away from Snow White. Agreeing to help, Eric also becomes stuck with the very small Nion (Nick Frost) and Gryff (Rob Brydon).

But nothing is as it seems and Eric is reunited with Sara who has serious unresolved issues with Eric. That has to be put aside if the group is going to find the mirror and keep it from Queen Freya who is now also looking for it.

With the help of the equally small Mrs. Bromwyn (Sheridan Smith) and Doreena (Alexandra Roach), the group fights to do what’s right. When the clash between sisters begins, they must all hang on for the fallout.

Sibling rivalry will have no bounds!

Blunt as Queen Freya is absolutely stunning and I say that because I am so partial to her. I absolutely love everything that she does so even if I’m not all in regarding the film I am definitely loving her frosty look.

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Hemsworth as Eric gets his story told and a ginger love interest to boot! Wielding his ax in service of trying to keep the mirror from anyone who would use it for evil, its going to be a big fight. He is big, he is bad and he gets the job done – I mean what would you expect from a Huntsman who is a part time hammer thrower in another life?

Chastain as Sara is the badass arrow shooter in leather who ‘never misses’ according to Eric. Wearing leather and touting a bow and arrow there isn’t really anyone that’s going to question what she’s up to. That being said not everything is at it seems.

Frost as Nion is cute and makes me laugh, his buddy Brydon as Gryff is equally as funny – even when they are pretending to be hostile. Smith as Mrs. Bromwyn is as bad as she wants to be proving that dynamite does come in small packages. Roach as Doreena is so sweet that it’s obvious she’d have a soft spot for Nion.

Theron as Ravenna is obviously awesome! She can just stand there and say nothing and the evil rolls off of her into the audience. Yep, she makes one heck of an evil Queen in her own right and no one or nothing is going to stop her from taking what she wants – not even an Ice Queen of a sister!

Other cast include Sope Dirisu as Tull, Sam Hazeldine as Leifr, Sophie Cookson as Pippa, Conrad Khan as Young Eric, Niamh Walkter as Young Sara and Nana Agyeman-Bediako as Young Tull.

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TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE HUNTSMAN: Winter’s War three tubs of popcorn out of five. Honestly I felt like I was in the middle of a LORD OF THE RINGS and NARNIA mash up – and Liam Neeson narrates so I’m not so far off the mark. Even Queen Freya comes up on a polar something or other not unlike the White Witch in Narnia.

I was also expecting a heck of a lot more of Ms. Theron so I’m not sure how they can call it a war of sisters if one of the sisters isn’t really there all that much. It’s more like a war with Queen Freya herself. Apparently narcissism mixed with hostility runs in that family. There is plenty of action, back story and special effects.

Look, its fine that it’s meant to be a grown up fairy tale I suppose – I guess I just don’t really want a grown up fairy tale. I’m perfectly content with Snow White and her seven friends, I’m okay with Cinderella and her mice friends, I’m certainly thrilled with Sleeping Beauty and singing in the woods with her furry and feathered friends.

In the end – it is the story before Snow White!

CRIMSON PEAK on Bluray Delivers Old Fashion Ghost Story

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Jeri Jacquin

Leave it to Guillermo del Toro to be a part of the writing team and direct, along with Universal Studios Home Entertainment, a ghost story that can only happen at CRIMSON PEAK coming to Bluray.

Edith (Mia Wasikowska) is a young girl ahead of her time. Wishing to publish her stories she is only met with kind rejection. Using her father Carter Cushing’s (Jim Beaver) office typewriter, she meets Baronet Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston).

Sharpe has come to Cushing to find investors for a machine he believes will revolutionize the digging of earth materials. Bringing his idea forward, Sharpe is met with scrutiny by Edith’s father and probably more so when he realizes Edith is taken with Sharpe.

Looking to Edith as well is Dr. Alan McMichael (Charlie Hunnam) who clearly has feelings for the young woman. At a town gathering, Edith meets Sharpes’ sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain) who greets the woman a little coolly. That doesn’t stop Sharpe and Edith from spending time together!

What does stop it is a private investigator hired by Cushing to discover the story behind the Sharpe’s. When it becomes clear what they are after, Edith’s father buys them off to go away and forget his daughter. It is Sharpe who can not stay away from the young woman and after a tragedy – the couple marries and returns to the Sharpe Estate in England.

Arriving to a house that is falling down brick by brick, Edith tries to make herself at home. The problem lies deep within as the ghosts begin to reach out to her with the secrets that can not rest.

This house is alive with truths it is dying to tell!

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Wasikowska as Edith is the perfect choice for this role. She has the lovely look of the era (proving time and time again works for her) and when it’s time for her hair to come down and face to become forlorn – she nails it. Don’t let Edith’s quiet demeanor fool you as this young lady might not like ghosts but she isn’t afraid to find out why they are stalking her. Plus, and it has to be said, Wasikowska looks stunning in period piece costumes.

Chastain as Lucille has a heart as cold as the brick that holds the estate home up! She isn’t about to be besties with Edith and clearly has an agenda that she is sticking too. Chastain is deliciously bad in this role and I loved it. She is an actress who can play a character good, bad or indifferent giving it a life of its own and in CRIMSON PEAK she delivers once again.

Hunnam as McMichael has a small role as the lovelorn eye doctor who wants to understand Edith’s obsession with ghosts. Being a gentleman of the times he doesn’t stand in the way of Edith’s happiness that is until he can prove there is a reason to be concerned for her well being. Beaver as Cushing has a quick role but an awesome one at the same time.

Hiddleston as Thomas Sharpe just continues to bring good work to the screen. In 2001 I saw him in The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby and knew I was seeing the beginning of his career. In the series Wallander I was hoping Hiddleston’s next jump would be to film and two years later he delighted fans as Loki in THOR. As the character Sharpe, fans get the full experience of a man dealing with demons (literally), hiding a history, and the experience of love. There is nothing about this character I don’t enjoy!

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Other cast includes Burn Gorman as Holly, Leslie Hope as Mrs. McMichael, Jonathan Hyde as Ogilvie, Bruce Gray as Ferguson and the ever fantastic Mr. Doug Jones in a role I’ll let everyone figure out!

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has just added an amazing film to their library and making it available for us all to experience and re-experience in our own home theatres. There are films of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer please visit http://www.uphe.com.

The Bluray and Digital HD with Ultraviolet to watch anywhere includes: I Remember Crimson Peak, A Primer on Gothic Romance, Hand Tailored Gothic, A Living Thing and Crimson Phantoms. Additional Features include: Deleted Scenes, Beware of Crimson Peak, The Light and Dark of Crimson Peak, and Feature Commentary with Co-Writer and Director Guillermo del Toro.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give CRIMSON PEAK three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. Let talk about the good stuff – the costuming is absolutely stunning, I mean really stunning. From the beautiful dresses, to the tailored suits it is sheer perfection. I’m pretty much a sucker for amazing costuming. The same can be said for cinematography and CRIMSON PEAK gives the audience plenty of shots that are spectacular.

Wasikowska, Chastain and Hiddleston breathe everything glorious into this ghost story and are aided by their surroundings. It truly was a pure joy watching these three actors take CRIMSON PEAK to creepy heights with their portrayals.

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The special effects were very cool and didn’t overtake the film. There was just enough and perfectly placed so I’m thanking del Torro for that obviously. That being said my only downer is that I felt like there were moments I was being talked down to – as if the story thought I couldn’t take it so it was watered down. When that happened it made it easy for me to know where the ghosts were leading me. Personally I don’t want to know that much so soon!

Okay, other than that I think CRIMSON PEAK gives audiences the old fashioned scary story without a lot of gore to ruin it. Instead, in the theater we will take a deep breath, say ‘oh my gosh!’ a few times, jump more than a few times and grab onto who ever is next to us and enjoy the eerie house that is surrounded by snowy crimson!

In the end – beware!

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